May 16, 2019

National Grid profit hurt by nuclear power station write-off

Full-year profits at National Grid fell by nearly a third as the company that owns and operates vital energy infrastructure was hit by one-off factors, including having to write off funds spent to connect two planned new nuclear power stations in the UK that were subsequently cancelled. Pre-tax profit for the year to March dropped 31 per cent to £1.8bn. Earnings were also hit by a seven-month labour dispute in the US state of Massachusetts, which was resolved in January, as well as restructuring programmes at its US and UK businesses. On an underlying basis, which strips out exceptional costs and other factors such as the costs of dealing with major storms, pre-tax profit for the 12 months that ended March 31 was down 3 per cent to £2.5bn, which was slightly ahead of analysts' expectations. National Grid has recommended a full-year dividend of 47.34p, an increase of about 3 per cent. In its results, National Grid argued that a "Fair" return would be 5.5 per cent.

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